Inmates in a California jail have filed over $1 billion in pandemic unemployment aid, four district attorneys and a federal prosecutor announced Tuesday, according to Politico.
California state prison inmates’ names were used to file 35,000 unemployment claims with 20,000 of them being paid out, said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, according to Politico.
Other recipients of the fraudulently distributed money include Cary Stayner and Wayne Ford, both serial killers, and Scott Peterson and Isauro Aguirre, both convicted murderers, according to The New York Times.
Schubert called the scheme “the biggest fraud of taxpayer dollars in California history” and asked state officials, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, to ensure claimants are cross-checked so that the incarcerated don’t take payments, according to Politico. (RELATED: REPORT: 11 Police Officers Received Unemployment While Still Holding Their Jobs)
“It’s not just about the money that’s been stolen,” Schubert said, according to the New York Times. “It’s about the fact that we need to turn off the spigot, which means that we should not continue to pay these convicted felons who are in prison. … We have asked and implored the governor to get involved himself to turn the spigot off.”
“The practical reality,” said El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson, per Politico, “is the vast majority of this money will never be repaid.”